“Musique Du Burundi” by Various Artists - album review

features in: (B-list) Album Chart of 1968(B-list) Album Chart of the 1960s

TJR says

The Ocora label – the recording arm of Radio France – was big on ethnographic long-players, and this set was one of the first of theirs to put a whole nation’s music under the spotlight. The Burundi-bound technician on “sonic safari” for this one was Michel Vuylsteke – and what fine captures he made (the odd bit of red-lining aside), showcasing chanting and playing of many varieties. The top cut here was sampled by Joni Mitchell on “The Jungle Line” (“The Hissing of Summer Lawns”, Asylum Records 7E-1051, 1975). Here’s what Michel had to say about the recording which so fascinated Joni:

Tambourinaires de Bukirasazi - Ensemble De Tambours. Ensemble of drums, recorded on 31st May 1967 at Bukirasazi. Music played in honour of the authorities by the group of drummers from Bukirasazi. The Ingoma drum, an instrument symbolizing power, was used in the past solely at the court of the king, or in the big chiefdoms. A group of drummers was attached to the king’s person, following him on his travels to the interior of the country, participating in the traditional festivals at which he was present (chiefly the sowing festival) or intervening at certain moments in the royal day (e.g. the king’s awakening). The privilege of playing these drums was handed down from father to son. Today, the drummers continue to appear at various festivities. They are considered by the Rundi (the inhabitants of Burundi) as one of the most representative elements of the musical tradition of the country.

25 ingoma drums with one pegged skin, placed vertically on the ground, are arranged in a semi-circle around a central drum of the same kind. They are played by means of two imirisho sticks which beat either the skin or the barrel.

The group of drummers begins to play after their leader has called to them. Then each drummer in turn takes up his position in front of the central drum, which he beats while dancing at the same time, and the other musicians continue playing. The declamations of the musician-dancer are in praise of the person or authority who is present, in the hope of obtaining a present on behalf of the group (a cow for example). Usually the group plays until each drummer has had time to appear as a soloist.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [05:30] 5.6.png François Muduga - Chant Avec "Inanga" (?) Africana
A2 [02:37] 6.1.png Le Chœur Buyenzi - Chant De Femmes (?) Africana
A3 [01:52] 3.4.png Deux Vieilles Femmes - Ubuhuha Chanté Par Deux Femmes (?) Avant-Garde
A4 [02:30] 4.0.png Daniel Ntakimazi - Complainte Avec Accompagnement De Vièle (Daniel Ntakimazi) Africana
A5 [01:00] 4.8.png Bernard Kabanyegeye - Chant Avec Arc Musical (Bernard Kabanyegeye) Africana
A6 [02:00] 4.5.png Rtyazo - Complainte Avec Accompagnement De Sanza (?) Africana
B1 [03:24] 3.1.png Nsekera - Solo De Flûte (?) Jazz
B2 [01:12] 5.2.png Jeune Fille - Akazéhé Par Une Jeune Fille (?) Avant-Garde
B3 [01:40] 6.2.png Deux Jeunes Filles - Akazéhé Par Deux Jeunes Filles (?) Avant-Garde
B4 [02:30] 3.8.png Ntiruhwama - Shoza Abarinda (Solo D’"Inanga") (?) Africana
B5 [07:32] 7.5.png Tambourinaires de Bukirasazi - Ensemble De Tambours (?) Africana
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